Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
October 13, 2011
The eight-speed tiptronic in the S8 also unites sportiness and efficiency. It keeps revs low whenever possible, but downshifts quickly and comfortably when requested by the driver. The tiptronic delivers the power to a quattro drivetrain with a self-locking center differential with the sport differential at the rear axle. During dynamic driving, the lion’s share of the power flows to the outside wheel to literally push the large sedan into the corner.
Brimming with technology: the chassis The new Audi S8 also pulls out all the stops when it comes to the chassis. The S8 comes standard with a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension. The variable-rate air suspension, which can give the body one of three ride heights, harmonizes perfectly with the dynamic steering, also standard, that adapts its steering ratio and boost to the vehicle’s speed.
The Audi drive select dynamics system encompasses these two systems as well as engine management, the eight-speed tiptronic and the sport differential. The driver can vary the characteristic of these chassis components between the comfort, auto, dynamic, individual and efficiency modes.
The wheels of the new S8 measure 9 J x 20 and are shod with 265/40-series tires. Audi offers optional wheels measuring up to 21 inches in diameter. The matt black brake calipers on the front axle sport the S8 badge. Carbon fiber-ceramic discs are available as a high-end alternative. Each disc saves around three kilograms (6.61 lb) of weight, and their calipers are anthracite gray.
A particular advantage of the 5.15-meter (16.90 ft) S8 is its comparatively low weight of 1,975 kilograms (4354.13 lb). The luxury sedan’s ASF (Audi Space Frame) body is made almost entirely of aluminum. Only the B-pillars are made of ultra high-strength steel. The body weighs just 231 kilograms (509.27 lb); a conventional steel construction would be around 100 kilograms (220.46 lb) heavier.
Fine exterior design details signal the special position that the S8 occupies in the Audi range. The exterior color Prism Silver is reserved exclusively for the sports model.
The spacious interior is also upgraded with special accents. The multi-way, power-adjustable deluxe sport seats have been designed exclusively for the S8 and are optionally available with ventilation and massage functions.
The S8 offers a wide choice of interior colors, inlays and seat coverings, including particularly fine Valonea leather. The leather package, a DVD changer, the convenience key with sensor-controlled tailgate release and ambient lighting round out the list of standard interior equipment. The S8 is also equipped with the innovative LED headlights and double glazing.
Beyond the standard equipment, Audi makes all of the high-end options from the A8 series available. The driver assistance systems are closely networked with one another and the navigation system. These comprise the adaptive cruise control with stop&go function, Audi side assist, Audi lane assist, the speed limit display, the night vision assistant with highlighting of detected pedestrians and the new parking system with 360° camera. Supplementing these technologies is the safety system Audi pre sense, which is available in a number of versions. The S8 also comes standard with a break recommendation display and the sensor-controlled tailgate release introduced with the Audi A6 Avant.
Standard: MMI navigation plus and the Bluetooth online car phone The standard MMI navigation plus represents the state of the art in infotainment systems. It includes the groundbreaking MMI touch input system, a hard drive with 20 GB of freely usable space and a high-resolution 8-inch display. The high-end system integrates the Bluetooth online car phone, which brings tailored Internet services under the heading of Audi connect to the car and features WLAN connectivity for mobile devices. The Bose surround system is standard, with the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System available as an option.
The Audi S8 will be rolling into showrooms in early summer 2012. Prices will start at 111,900 euros.